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Three to four year olds. Remind me. What do we do with them again?

(29 Posts)
Cappuccino Tue 02-Sep-08 09:51:20

I've been ill for the last year, so pre-school and my mum have taken care of dd2, who is 4 in January

I am now well enough - well I'm knackered, but apart from that - to look after her, and after preschool we have an hour or two each day before her big sister comes home from school to be together. She'll start school herself this time next year.

thing is, I have completely forgotten the sort of things i am supposed to do. I have been so knackered the last year, and still now, that I just end up sitting her in front of the TV. I know that I could have the energy to do other things at least some of the time if I tried, and I want to make the most of the time with her

but what do you do with them? she is older than she was. I feel like I am starting over a bit, and wondered if anyone could let me know what kind of things they enjoyed doing with their preschooler.

Anna8888 Tue 02-Sep-08 09:53:36

Drawing - buy her a lovely new tin of 36 colours of washable coloured pencils.

Magnetic letters and numbers.


Dressing up as princess/ballerina and dancing.

(all fully combinable with intensive MNing).


Reading stories.

snickersnack Tue 02-Sep-08 09:55:54

My 3.5 year old adores playing with small dolls and her dolls house. She'll spend hours making up games. Also colouring in is very popular, as is playdoh. She quite likes jigsaws and dressing up in my jewellery and shoes (hours of fun for her while I lie on the bed reading...).

Glad you're feeling better.

wessexgirl Tue 02-Sep-08 09:56:55

Dd2's current enthusiasms include:

Any kind of painting/drawing

'Magic' painting (for when you can't face the mess of the real thing)

Puzzles and games, especially Hungry Hippos and Noughts and Crosses

Dressing up, pretending to be a ballet dancer

Anything musical

Anything at all involving glue

Complicated brick building projects

wessexgirl Tue 02-Sep-08 09:57:41

And stickers! Oh, how could I miss out the stickers hmm?

Bluebutterfly Tue 02-Sep-08 10:03:36

My 3 year old ds loves to "help" me cook and bake simple things (obviously not with the dangerous stuff, but stirring, greasing pans with butter, mixing, arranging etc).

Dancing - put some music on and let your dd dance around and join in if you have the energy.

Singing nursery rhymes together.

Agree with what others have said (well, save the board games - getting my 3 year old boy to sit still and concentrate is not something we have urm... mastered yet grin.

fruitful Tue 02-Sep-08 10:20:57

Ds1 is 3.5. So far today we have done the school run (for dd). Then some painting (he painted, I cleared up the breakfast things). Then we unloaded the Tesco shop together (it was delivered). Now he is playing with his Bob the Builder toys (yesterday I sorted out the playroom and he 'discovered' these at the bottom of a box). When he gets tired of that we will play a board game (with him making up the rules!).

I find that 10 minutes of me playing with him followed by some time while he plays by himself, and then some time when he 'helps' with what I need to do, works well. Better than a long time of me playing with him and then a long time of not.

PortAndLemon Tue 02-Sep-08 10:33:18

Depends. Do you have a cellar and a long length of sturdy chain? [had a trying morning with 3.7 year old emoticon]

PortAndLemon Tue 02-Sep-08 10:33:30

Or, more constructively, drawing, painting, cooking, books, jigsaw puzzles, strange roleplaying games (live action or with toy annimals/people), "helping" with almost anything you are doing.

PortAndLemon Tue 02-Sep-08 10:35:13

And stickers. Ooooooh yes, stickers.

(I don't have a 3.7 year old emoticon, btw. I have a 3.7 year old force of nature)

Cappuccino Tue 02-Sep-08 12:26:42

ooh thanks everyone

yes I do have a cellar

we will go out this afternoon to buy chain

good tip

i always find a nice creamy sauce with a splash of white wine and a sprinkle of tarragon works well with 3-4 year olds.

once they get to five they taste better with a tomato based sauce.

Neeerly3 Tue 02-Sep-08 12:32:31

if not too tired cap, and weather is fine, a walk around local area with a chart of things to spot.....a little prize if she spots everything on list.....


Cappuccino Tue 02-Sep-08 12:34:14


<passes out>

god don't get me started on that, taking my kids swimming is harder work than going for a long run. And I've done both.

Neeerly3 Tue 02-Sep-08 12:36:46

mops cappuccino's brow - sorry duck.

dilemma456 Tue 02-Sep-08 14:34:20

Message withdrawn

legalalien Tue 02-Sep-08 14:40:27

pmsl at "strange role playing games". before work this morning I was lucky enough to (i) pretend to be a sheep (DS is sheepdog); (ii) reenact a large part of the cars movie using plastic animals in similar colours to the cars from the movie (notwithstanding that we have most of the cars - not the same, apparently; (iii) have a complicated game in which a brachiosaurus tracks down runaway horses and cows ?????; and (iv) a quick round of "queens and princes" before the nanny's arrival ("I'm just off to sort out some dragons with this dragon grappling hook mummy, you stay there in the castle and count your money.......)

orangina Tue 02-Sep-08 14:41:50

yes, housework! dd loves sweeping the floor, wiping the table, and washing up....

(as well as stickers, play doh, dressing up as a princess, putting all her hair clips in her hair and dancing like a ballerina, in full kit...)

peppa pig on the telly when steam runs out (mine as well as hers)

Janos Tue 02-Sep-08 16:02:01

Oh, I just stick mine in the living room with TV one while I lie in bed smoking and drinking gin.



PigeonPie Tue 02-Sep-08 16:17:55

Janos, I've already told you that gin stunts your growth grin

mistlethrush Tue 02-Sep-08 16:29:25

If the weather is reasonable and there is a nice playground nearby, an hour there should be tiring for her but not so bad for you - find a good location to perch and let her get on with it!

RoRoMommy Tue 02-Sep-08 16:42:07

**Teeny tiny hijack**

Hi legalalien! I am reading this in preparation for my growing little, your DS has moved on from military aircraft?

This is a great thread...I think I might start one...mine's 18 months and so far he loves rolling things on the floor (anything from cans, to blocks, to lipstick) and watching television (this is a new development and a tad worrying). I am just excited for when he gets to talking!

Janos Tue 02-Sep-08 17:00:49

Ah, maybe that's why I've shrunk, Pigeonpie!

<chucks gin down sink>


Janos Tue 02-Sep-08 17:04:32

Being serious for a mo...

Things my DS (3.10) likes to do..

- Playground for an hour or so (provided weather is nice)

- Building things (lego, stickle bricks etc)

- Helping me cook - simple stuff like biscuits and scones.

- If you have a bit of spare cash the soft play/cinema often goes down well.

- Pizza Hut buffet for a treat (under a tenner if there's just two of you).

legalalien Tue 02-Sep-08 17:06:09

RoRo - I wish. It's his nanny's last week with us this week, and he has insisted on taking her for one last visit to the RAF museum in Hendon. This morning he asked me for money so that he could buy her a plane to take back to nz with her ""it will be her first spitfire, mummy"). However, seem to have managed to convince DS that military dogfights are something best engaged in with his father (everyone hold off on criticising me for being sexist - I have engaged in a LOT of pretend dogfights already!)

Shall we do lunch once I'm back in the City (start new job on 29 Sept)

*hijack over*

<swoons in horror at wasted gin>

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